Madukkarai Maharaj a rogue elephant !!

Madukkarai Maharaj, Behindw 


The name Madukkarai Maharaj may sound like the name of a zamindar or a big land lord of an old Tamil Movie  owning vast spread of cultivable land and groves. In reality,  Madukkarai Maharaj is none other than a pachyderm who was not on his best behavior and gave lots of problems to the forest officials and the people in that area.  He was also nicknamed ‘Kattayan’(in Tamil meaning a strong man; here it refers to the elephant). Tagged as a rogue elephant, M. Maharaj 's active place of activity  is Madukkarai and nearby areas that are close to Coimbatore city. There are paddy, banana, jack fruit and other farms and the small farmers and others  depend mainly on the agricultural income from their farms.

Not content with water and food available in his area, Madukkarai Maharaj  raided  nearby places for food and water  and spent  much of his time eating whatever his trunk  could lay on. This bull  was just 20 years old and weighed 3500 kg. It is said he was not seen with a herd. Befitting his name, he raided majestically unmindful of various obstructions and scare methods such as beating drums, firing crackers, etc., used by the people. The rogue tusker  was causing havoc in and around Madukkarai and consequently the farmers had incurred heavy loss on account of damaged crops during 2015 and 2016.  He was responsible for the death of two people, one of them being a forest  guard. Considering its aggressive nature and threats to farmers and public, the government took serious steps to catch the elephant alive so that it could be relocated.  
Think Elephants International - blogger

 The forest officials knew the areas he used to frequent and a few places where he was seen more often. After a long wait, the forest officials and their team of wildlife vets, tranquilizer experts, police and the special team reached the army camp area - the tusker's regular path and spotted it  inside the army camp at Madukkarai at night. Even there were health and revenue officials in the team to coordinate the capture of the jumbo. Around 4 am, the tusker was returning on the same path  and the capture team members with tranquilizing guns were put on high alert. Around  4.45am, when the elephant was returning to the forest in its usual path, they took a good shot with the tranquilize gun. Soon after darting, in half sedated state, the elephant moved over the national high way and then  entered the reserve forest area. As it was a safe spot, the forest officials decided to set off the kumkis (trained female elephants) to corner the tusker to prevent it from running wild.

In a thrilling  night-long 10 hr operation after a week long pursuit, in the last week of June, 2016, the forest officials  successfully tranquilized and trapped the rogue elephant which had been a source of trouble for scores of farmers living in that area. The elephant, without giving any trouble further boarded the truck. Earlier, it was given two tranquilizer shots and Kumki elephants goaded the sedated jumbo  into the truck. It was a safe operation and the officials and the people were happy about it. But according to the Covai post published  in Coimbatore, it was a meticulously executed brutality as the trained elephants caused painful  injuries on the back of Maharaj while boarding the truck. The officials pumped in another  dose of Ketamine and Xylamine to calm it down. 

Scars on the back of Madukkarai Maharaj, TN. /

Considered as the biggest operation in the recent years, it included 50 officials /personnel. The captured elephant was escorted to top-slip area by DFO, pilot vehicle and others officials including vets. The  tranquilized tusker  at Madukkarai next day  was taken to the camp and lodged in the kraal the same evening.
The sedated wild elephant, 'Madukkarai  Maharaj’, unfortunately died at the elephant camp at Varagliyar near Top Slip, two days after it was captured. He  had suffered multiple fractures on its forehead and other injuries while trying to free itself from the kraal, a post-Mortem examination hasd revealed it.The media reports  say that he was given heavy dosage of tranquilizer.
Madukkkarai Maharaj

 Its broken tusks and  marks left on the heavy wooden logs of the kraal pointed out its desperation to get out of the trap and escape into the wild. Around 4.10 p.m.  it hit a wooden structure hard, fell down and died in the next five minutes, leaving its trunk out of the cage.

In 2011, operation similar to this one was a failure. The sedated elephant accidentally fell into a pit and finally dead. 

 Having been free, enjoying fresh air and fresh crops, Madukkkarai Maharaj did not like to live like a prisoner within the confines  of  kraal. He preferred death to life in a  small enclosed  space, begging for food from the forest officials.